Student journeys at the Canadian International School of Beijing are inspirational. Our students come from all over the world and represent more than 55 nationalities each year. Each student brings with them their own unique background and stories.

When Grade 10 student Nika Fabrio looks back on enrolling at the Canadian International School of Beijing (CISB) in 2015 — back before she became trilingual, and overcame timidness by volunteering in a number of leadership positions in the CISB Bobcat community — the Croatian student can’t help but feel immense pride at all she has achieved.

“I initially found it really challenging to complete even basic tasks in school,” Nika says of the early hurdles she faced as a fourth-grade student who was not only new to the CISB Bobcat community, but also new to China, and had yet to learn the English and Mandarin basics that she would go on to become fluent in. At first, homework assignments that her more settled classmates could complete in 20 minutes took young Nika as much as two hours to finish. Yet, she persevered, in part because of support from her teachers in the Bilingual and Multilingual program, and from classmates, along with her can-do attitude. “The extra effort I put into my work made me more confident because I was able to score as well as peers who spoke English, despite it being new to me.”

Bilingual and Multilingual Learners at CISB are supported by a passionate group of BML teachers. To support new students, BML teaching first focuses on building functional language to ease their transition. This includes building classroom vocabulary by focusing on classroom objects and other such foundational topics. In addition, teachers emphasize instructions and phrases that will allow the students to communicate with their educators and classmates. This combination of support and hard work put Nika on a pathway to success.

As she overcame those initial lingual hurdles, Nika quickly began making her mark at CISB. Among her highest achievements: earning a scholarship each year she was eligible. Her advice to students hoping to be similarly successful is remembering the importance of formative assignments rather than overemphasizing the summative assessments graded for report cards, a philosophy that is in keeping with CISB’s holistic learning approach. Not only do these ongoing formative assessments “help you understand the topic better, but they also allow your teachers to have more opportunities to help you and give you feedback,” says Nika. She adds: “Everything goes into account when you receive marks, so make sure you’re always trying your best!”. CISB’s academic approach is captured in our commitment to a rigorous educational program, and Nika’s teachers do not doubt she will be among our top IB diploma graduates in 2024.

Impressive as Nika’s language and academic feats have been, she also consistently sparks pride among her teachers and peers by volunteering and coordinating goodwill ventures, giving credence to the “passionate leaders” that so many of our young CISB trailblazers personify. Among the numerous student-led initiatives and extracurriculars Nika has been involved in over the past six years: the recent Kindness Week charity events. “We wanted to set up an event in order to promote unity in our school,” Nika said, and that is precisely what she did. As many of her fellow Bobcat volunteers and classmates frequently demonstrate, kindness has the power to bring people, cultures and nations together. Coordinating a weeklong series of events that highlight this virtue ensures the CISB community can celebrate past and deepen ongoing acts of kindness and caring on our campus.

Or, as Nika puts it: “We want students from all over the world to come together and promote kindness among each other within the school, and outside of it.”
Among the educators and mentors who supported Nika and her fellow volunteers was CISB Middle-High Principal Glen Woodburn, who she says “deserves the most credit for helping us with this initiative.” She goes on to thank “Elementary counsellors and principals, who also greatly helped usm along with MS/HS teachers like Mr. Howard.”

Nika is a very dedicated student, and we look forward to supporting her continuous success in our Bobcat community. CISB provides students with the internationally recognized IB programmes and the Canadian curriculum. This means graduates have the opportunity to receive an IB and Canadian High School Diploma.

Learning at CISB is internationally-minded, inquiry-driven and engaging. The International Baccalaureate, when paired with the Canadian NB Curriculum outcomes, provides our students with a holistic international perspective that relates to their lives in Beijing and their role within the larger global community.

If you have any further questions about learning at CISB, please contact Admissions; Admissions@CISBeijing.com
+ 86 10 6465-7788